Monday, April 22, 2013

Meet capella star Alaa Wardi

(This was published in The Hindu Business Line Blogs on Monday, April 22, 2013)

Alaa Wardi.

The singer from Iran, who resides in Saudi Arabia is a rage now, thanks to YouTube. He is a rage now in India too, because of the two Hindi (Bollywood) songs -- Pehla Nasha from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and Jiya Re from Jab Tak Hai Jaan .

He was ecstatic when A.R. Rahman shared his video on Facebook and Twitter. "Woohoo!! A.R. Rahman shared my video on both his Facebook and Twitter :D," he tweeted. What's so special about him that made Rahman tweet the video?

What makes Alaa Wardi different? It is this: He does not use instruments much. He uses his mouth and body to generate sounds of instruments. In Pehla Nashaa, which is a classic example, Alaa Wardi uses ONLY his mouth and body to generate all the sounds. The effort he must have put in to record the song must be painstaking. Obviously, he has recorded the voice, other vocals, drums, strings, a pop sound he calls 'fish' (there are multiple fish) and more - separately and put them together. The effort is truely mind-boggling. As on Saturday, the video had generated 8,83,662 views and the Jab Tak Hai Jaan video has generated 4,17,761 views. Alaa Wardi's YouTube page can be accessed here.

In 'Risala Ela...' there are some 11 Wardis in a single frame.

Alaa Wardi became a YouTube star by chance. In an interview, he said he posted a video for his friends to see, but people started sharing it. So was born the idea of creating videos and uploading it to Youtube.
Alaa Wardi started with the A Capella version (A Capella is vocal music without instruments) of Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram's Fi Hagat in 2011, which became a rage in West Asia. The rest is history.